There is no mistaking the Common Rattlesnake-weed when you find the small rosette of purple-veined leaves. That they have an uncanny, snaky something or another about them cannot be denied, and it is probably all due to their decorative veinings. I have heard time and again that this leaf was used as a remedy for snake bites, but never have succeeded in meeting anyone who had actually used it for such purpose. The juice is supposed by some people to have the power of removing warts. The long, slender stalk is often solitary, and rises out of the leafy tuft, from one to three feet in height. It is smooth and leafless, or occasionally with one or two leaves seated upon it. The foot leaves are long oval, with a pointed tip, and taper toward the base. The wide, flat midrib is hairy on the under side. The usually toothless margins are fringed with fine hairs, and the colour is light green. The small, light yellow flowers are somewhat like those of the Dandelion, but the disc is more ragged, fewer-flowered and less dense. The strap-shaped florets have a finely notched, square tip, and from fifteen to forty are set in a small, light green cup. They are set on the tips of the forks, and form a loose, scrawly, few-flowered cluster. They are found in dry, open, rocky woods and thickets from May to October, from Georgia, Kentucky, and Nebraska to Canada.
RATTLESNAKE-WEED. HAWKWEED. Hieracium venosum.